Roger Græsberg & the Anti-Music Bonanza "Coffee & Cigarettes"

Roger Græsberg & the Anti-Music Bonanza "Coffee & Cigarettes"
Let's face it, if Norway has a reputation in music it's for their burning black metal scene, which has more stories attached to it than just about any place. Recent times has seen the rise of electronic music, thanks to Smalltown Supersound and the Sunkissed club night, but there really is a lot more to the country than just corpse paint and cosmic disco.

This week I'll be in Oslo, Norway for the tenth annual Øya Festival, covering the event on my blog, which you can find at Ø In addition, I've decided to feature up-and-coming Norwegian artists playing the festival in this here column that show there's more going on than most people think.

I don't really know how an "Anti-Music Bonanza" works exactly. If it's anti-music, I'm thinking it should in fact not actually be the source of actual music, but maybe there's just something lost in translation.

Roger Græsberg & the Anti-Music Bonanza are certainly a musical bunch, whether they like it or not. They must also be one of the only Norwegian country acts in existence, which is purely just a guess, but I mean who are we kidding here. That said, this band mix up some killer, bare bones, down home moonshine to sip on.

There really isn't any way to bottle them up and sell them as just a country band, however. Lo-fi by all means, there's also a heavy folk, pop, rock, and everything in between added for a complete batch of loopy tunes that includes one spaced-out abnormality called "Easy Eazy E." And no, it's not their attempt at gangsta rap (if only!).

But country is what I think the Anti-Music Bonanza do best and "Coffee & Cigarettes" puts their strengths on display. A front-porch ballad, led by an elastic band bass line and all sorts of slippery slide guitar, they get everything right, sounding like this was recorded on some farm in the Tennessee boonies. And for maximum impact, they have the choir of drunken yokels add background chants, and even better, half way through, they even pause to pour a cup of piping coffee.

You can download a bunch of tracks free of charge over at their MySpace page.